After months of being locked down and mostly confined to homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people traveling this summer is beginning to rise, although perhaps not as much as in previous years.
With more people looking for safe travel destinations, it is more important than ever for businesses such as hotels, restaurants, theme parks, cruise ships, airlines, and other travel-related companies to have effective plans and processes in place to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers.
A recent analysis from U.S. Travel Association by Tourism Economics found that U.S. travel spending increased 7% last week (June 18), or four times the amount in April. It also showed that travel expanded for the seventh consecutive week since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the industry remains down over 50% compared to 2019.
Plus, the U.S. Travel Association also predicts that total travel spending in the U.S. to drop 45% by the end of this year. For the aviation industry, near record numbers of travelers in the first two months of 2020 quickly dwindled once the pandemic hit in March, and as the number of customers declined, travel-related businesses were forced to lay off employees. According to Flights for America, an airlines industry association, demand for future air travel is predicted to be down by 82% and according to a recent S&P Global Ratings report demand will likely remain below last year’s levels until 2023.
The travel industry will need to demonstrate to their customers that safety measures are in place in order for people to reestablish a level of comfort. This is comparable to conditions in the years after 9/11, when customers were forced to adapt to a “new normal” with increased safety measures. In the same way, the key to recovery for the travel industry is to regain public trust in post-COVID-19 precautions and processes.
Companies across all business sectors, including the travel industry, are creating new guidelines and procedures for employee and customer safety. However, these procedures can be highly complex, and a comprehensive system is essential to monitor the impacts of COVID-19, mitigate the risks associated with re-opening facilities, offices, and workspaces, and to ensure important data and information doesn’t fall through the cracks.
A few of the most important aspects and capabilities necessary to create effective safety procedures and guidelines include:
1 — Maintaining complete situational awareness – as always, situations and events change rapidly, but this is even more the case in the wake of COVID-19. Operational decisions will have to be made frequently and quickly and require full understanding of circumstances, data, and up-to-the-minute information.
2 — Effective tracking and monitoring capabilities – going forward, it will be essential to monitor information and activities related to the health status and/or maintaining the health and safety of employees, suppliers, business partners, and customers, as well as the status of many different locations and facilities.
3 — Efficient communications abilities – a centralized communication platform is critical to make contact with everyone who could be impacted and keep them informed constantly and consistently, including leadership, employees, customers, emergency responders, and the media.
A solution such as Juvare’s WebEOC Workplace gives companies the emergency preparedness and response solutions they need, combined with pandemic-specific workflows, contact tracing, and case management.
WebEOC Workplace helps companies with the complicated process of managing return-to-work requirements while giving them the tools they need to monitor individuals, track facilities status, and keep up with cleaning and sanitizing tasks, supplies of PPE supplies, etc. WebEOC Workplace features a cloud-based design to support the highest control of privacy standards to protect private and confidential information.
WebEOC Workplace is the ideal solution for travel industry businesses to reduce complexity of returning to day-to-day operations while keeping employees and customers safe, and staying prepared for any future critical incident or impact to operations.